As economies and cultures morph due to technoscience, vampire entities also mutate so as to still provoke fear ‒their bodies change, their populations grow and their networks expand; yet the way to annihilate them becomes less obvious. Responding to these modern day changes, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s television series The Strain (2014-2017) uncannily echoes, or perhaps foreshadows, the social realities under an informational, networked, and epidemiological paradigm. The filmmakers here present viewers with hybrid monsters and environments that are highly interconnected and pathogenic, reflecting contemporary social fears regarding failing democracies and global pandemics. Drawing from Guillermo del Toro’s recent television collaborations, this article examines how twenty-first century vampiric bodies comment on a society altered by informational and technoscientific labyrinths. The labyrinths analyzed here, and the bodies hidden within them, are presented as looming threats that may destroy democracies in order to institute a totalitarian regime. Profit-driven institutions and governments, beholden to ominous masters in a more global and interrelated economy, invite malevolent actors who are allowed to dominate, exploit, and kill everyday citizens.
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Serrano, Carmen A., "Dark Networks and Pathogens Undermining Democracies: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain" (2019). Languages, Literatures and Cultures Faculty Scholarship. 36.